Ethics and Advertising Sisley Fashion Junkie This Sisley ad is not just unethical but also denigrating for the fashion industry. It represents two models consuming a product from a shirt that appears to be cocaine. The the slogan “Fashion Junkie” is establishing a correlation between drugs and fashion. The company is promoting the product in an inappropriate and immoral way. Drug abuse is an issue attacking todays’ society, thousands of adolescents dye every year as a result of the ingestion of illegal substances like cocaine, crack and heroin.
Governments enforce strict laws prohibiting the production, exportation and importation of such goods but it is a tough fight due to the considerable amounts of money this market generates. Drug addiction is a disorder that drastically changes somebody’s lifestyle, social life and overall health. Addicts feel an uncontrollable desire to consume drugs or alcohol, they self destruct and in the majority of the cases do not want help.
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Families, together with hospitals, church facilities and government organizations are fighting this terrible decease that is attacking our society on its weakest point; youth. Advertisements influence millions of lives every second around the world, this ad is a classic example that some companies would do anything to stand out on the market even promote an illegal and harming product like cocaine. The fashion industry is a center point, it crates prototypes. Girls and boys want to be like the beautiful models they see on the screen.
If their role model is promoting drugs as if it was something as fashionable as clothe, this message will translate into a big issue in the future. In the other hand fashion companies have developed the idea of a beautiful woman being extremely skinny and tall. This stereotype is clearly illustrated in Sisley’s ad where the models are extremely skinny so, that they even look sick. The girls and boys looking at these apparently perfect people illustrating what they should look like start feeling ugly, unaccepted and insignificant.
Humans are extremely sensitive to visual incentives and unconsciously create a profile of how the world should be based on magazines, TV, movies, etc. the Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders that are closely related to personality issues and have been blamed on advertisement and media sources many times, must of them represent perfect-looking people rather than reality where not everybody is physically attractive. There is also the interpretation that in the commercial the girls are not sniffing cocaine, they are actually sniffing the shirt.
The message is that their clothe makes you feel as good as if you were high and it is addictive. In my opinion the advertisement is in fact relating drugs and fashion. Cocaine is considered the “rich kids” drug, the company is establishing a relationship between the people that have the money to do cocaine and those that can afford its brand. Sisley has been widely criticized for the lack of morality and social responsibility of this advertisement.
The company felt so embarrassed that on July, 2007 United Colors of Benetton released the following statement to the press regarding it’s Sisley brand “In the recent days, images which are told to be part of the new Sisley advertising campaign have been published in internet. One of these images shows some girls “sniffing a vest”. The allusion to drugs and alcohol is more than clear. We would like to clearly state that the Sisley brand (and the Benetton company) has nothing to do with these images and therefore we refuse to be linked with them. “